Master’s Degree, what next?
On June 30, at the graduation ceremony students of the ISSEK Master's programme "Governance of Science, Technology and Innovation" will meet up to go separate ways after. It is interesting, what paths will they choose? We present one of the 42 career tracks of the students of the 2017 graduation class — the story of Daria Kuzmina, who has recently started working at the International Association of Public Transport (Brussels).
My first education is connected with the railways, so immediately after graduating from the Moscow State University of Railway Engineering (MIIT), where I received a degree in engineering management, I got a job in the Moscow Metro. In the management department of the Quality Service, I was engaged in the project "Creation of the automated management system for administrative and economic activities in the depot". I was responsible for the module "Metrology". In this project, my task was to develop business processes to track the life cycle of all meteorological facilities (measuring instruments, standards, indicators, etc.). I have gone all the way from the creation of a technical task and the tender to the immediate implementation of the project.
Having worked on the subway for a while, I realized that I have to continue my studies to become more competitive in the labour market. While obtaining my first specialty, I was trained in a direction that was partly related to innovations — "Organisation of high-technology production", so it was not by accident that I chose the Master of Science in Innovation Management at the Higher School of Economics. I was combining work and university.
Study in the HSE
The fact that the programme is completely in English has won me over. The university has a European approach to training, therefore students received the latest knowledge used abroad. Professors from other universities from all over the world used to visit us a lot, as well as employees of international organizations, in particular, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The most memorable subjects during the training were corporate foresight and innovation marketing. Both courses were of a practical nature. In the first case, we developed strategies for companies in teams, and in the second — we promoted innovative products.
|Students of the Master's programme|
When it was time to practice and select the topic of my master thesis, I offered my help to one of the leaders of the Moscow Metro, responsible for the company's technical and innovation policy, in the development of the Metro's innovative strategy. To this end, I conducted benchmarking on systems of innovation management and technologies, which are emphasized by the world's leading subways. Together with International Association of Public Transport (UITP), we organized a survey among the UITP companies on various aspects of innovative management, in particular, we were interested in the experience of planning and organizing innovation activities, motivating staff to create innovations, control innovation results, etc. In a short time, I collected answers from metro operators from seven cities: São Paulo, Buenos Aires, London, Brussels, Paris, Prague, and Moscow. In the framework of the International Association of Public Transport, a study like this was conducted for the first time. Its results will be useful for further recommendations for the development of innovative activities in the Moscow Metro, which is currently working on its innovative development programme and is preparing for a technology audit.
My colleagues supported me a lot — from my direct superior and the staff of the department to the head in charge of the technology and innovation policy of the subway, with whom we conducted this poll. He was my adviser when I was interviewed for the current position at UITP. Moscow colleagues asked me not to forget them and expressed the hope that I would return to the subway, obviously in a new capacity.
Work in Brussels
Last half of the year of studying at the HSE I was often thinking that after the graduation it would be interesting to continue working on project management in the field of R&D management. In search of information for the master thesis, I came across a vacancy on the UITP website that was ideal for me — the combination of rail transport, project management and innovation.
I’ve recently moved to Brussels and now I am working at the UITP headquarters at the position of Research and Innovation project manager at an urban rail. Our organization participates in the well-known European programme HORIZON2020 on the development of technologies and innovations, as a consultant and representative of the interests of public transport companies. UITP supports grants related to the development of transport. I am involved in the project on optimizing the energy consumption of rail systems (OPEUS), and I am responsible for "practical results" (Deliverables) and I represent UITP in cooperation with other project participants. Drawing on the expertise of the UITP and other organisations, the results of previous projects related to the energy consumption of rail systems, I am preparing social, economic, environmental, operational and political requirements for the use of electricity in urban rail transport.
During my Master’s programme, I learned to do research, write essays and prepare presentations, which help a lot in the current work. In fact, I got a new job and this opportunity to carry out projects of European level, relying on the knowledge and competence acquired at the HSE and in the Moscow metro.
Text and photo: Daria Kuzmina
We are waiting for new stories from the graduates of different years!